Sanction This

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” 

– Alice in Wonderland

As we watch the news in this “Best of all Possible Worlds,” keep in mind that people with big money, whether earned or stolen have been buying up real estate in this country for decades. Paul Manafort, bless his pardoned heart, bought numerous properties since FinCen has been looking the other way in the Hamptons. Even Trump and his friends caught onto that play. And, then, there are the condos in Manhattan, in newly constructed buildings that curiously seem dark at night — for years. I once asked about the new twin towers at 565 Broome Street in SoHo. I wasn’t told that I was wrong — and that people don’t really stash that much money in Manhattan real estate and never occupy the new apartments — I was simply told, “No, it’s the Chinese. The Russians aren’t buying right now.”

So, if old Joe isn’t really worried about stepping on anyone’s toes, and he’s really serious, perhaps a review of multi-million dollar purchases in the Manhattan condo market when the price tag reaches over a certain dollar mark — as well as for those nifty little houses in Southampton, Amagansett, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Sagaponack and Montauk which have changed hands since the early 2000’s when the money started to flow into broker’s coffers — perhaps a little investigating? Especially, when they were bought by shell companies and shills. A lot of cash that FinCen wasn’t watching being in those big broker’s escrow accounts could be elucidating.

Maybe contacting Donald Lochheim, the owner of the Southampton Press, who was the Mayor of Sagaponack could help with that. Apparently, being the only disseminator of “news” in the Hamptons is worth something since selling newspapers never really brought home the bacon. Advertising conveniently placed in the Southampton Press which is now owned by Joseph Louchheim by the East End Towns along with some very valuable knowledge about real estate, does. However. I always thought it strange that with all of the corruption in the District Attorney’s office — which landed the top law enforcement official in prison — was not worth reporting on. But, not a word. Instead, I got bad press for three years running — for renting new houses to immigrants and then four years in prison for renting houses to Latinos.

That was before it became obvious that Latinos weren’t criminals — the politicians were. Now, villages like Hampton Bays where nearly a third of its population are those hard workers who have now bought houses — who previously had found affordable housing from landlords like me. For renting to Latinos I was “offered” four years in prison as a result of the attempts by characters like Skip Heaney, the former Town of Southampton Supervisor who, along with D.A. Thomas Spota, criminalized landlords for providing housing to those immigrants. The Latinos are back and Heaney is gone, along with his buddy D.A. Spota who got five years in prison for operating a criminal enterprise out of his office. Does the word Racism sound about right? So much for journalism and a “free” press. Sounds like RT doesn’t it?

So Joe needs to ramp up his game and people need to keep their eyes open. All is not what is obvious. It ain’t just oligarchs buying big yachts. It’s also Russian politicians hiding money out of sight of the worthless rouble.

Unless, of course, we’re not really serious.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and by the way, my first book is out and several more are in progress and will be published this year.

Look for “Up & Way,” true stories by a journalist of life behind bars. Compliments of Hamptons justice.

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